The B Team Returns To The Road

Topic 20760 | Page 2

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B Team's Comment
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Sorry that I haven’t updated our progress for a couple of weeks. We have had a lot going on as we get closer to hitting the road. We had a yard sale two Saturdays in a row and eliminated a lot of junk that we didn’t need. I discovered that if you call it “stuff” instead of “junk” that you can get a better price for it. CDL training has been progressing well. Since the last update, we have spent a lot of time working on pre-trip inspections and backing. If you are not familiar with a pre-trip inspection , it requires you to identify almost every engine part, suspension part, brake part and all rims and tires. They must be inspected and you are required to verbally verify their condition to the inspector. This safety inspection is a critical part of the CDL testing. To do this for the entire vehicle and trailer can take over a half hour. You must also do this for the inside of the vehicle as well. That part is called the in-cab inspection. It includes a complete brake system check. No mistakes are allowed on any of this portion of the test. Following the pre-trip, you must perform three backing maneuvers, and if you pass all of that, you get to do the driving test. We have also begun practicing driving on the test loop, which is the route that we will take when we are tested for our CDL. Our in-class work has centered primarily on trip planning. You have to figure the time required, fuel use and rest periods for hypothetical trips. We have also had a couple more recruiters come by to encourage us to consider working for their companies. On Friday of this week we took our mid-term exams. Mrs. B & I think that we did okay on them. We’ll find out next week. We have about twenty more class days before we hit the road. We will continue to update our progress in class, and we’ll let you know what company we plan on driving for pretty soon. We’ve narrowed it down to three or four at this point. Keep us in your prayers, another update on the way soon!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
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I know you and the Mrs. are very very busy but I did want to tell you I'm enjoying reading about your adventures.

Fun times indeed!

B Team's Comment
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Thanks Susan. New update coming by the end of the evening. We’re very excited about returning to the biz. Only about 18 more class days. We both will test out on November 30th.

B Team's Comment
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Only 12 more class days til Mrs. B and I take our final CDL test. We are both scheduled to test out on November 30th. We took our mid-term written exam last week, and we both scored in the high 90’s. It was a written exam of about 60 general knowledge questions, a vehicle systems and parts test, a pre-trip knowledge test, plus a simulated trip that had to be planned and logged. This past week we continued backing practice on the driving range, and practiced driving the test loop. We also took another road trip of about 100 miles. We began in afternoon drive city traffic, and continued driving through several area towns on rural two lane roads. We would drive 25 – 30 miles, and then swap with one of our fellow students. This is great “real life” practice since some of the turns are in small towns, even in little downtowns with small intersections. The classroom work has been more study on general knowledge, including customer relations, cargo securement, and international driving. It’s mostly practice, practice, practice as we get ready for the final driving test. We are still talking with 2 or 3 companies to see which one looks like the best fit for us. We should make a final decision within a week. We are finishing all of the final prep of turning the house over to our son and his fiancé. The will be renting our house when we take to the road. They have agreed to let us have a room for our home time stops. HaHa. Again, keep us in your prayers. We still have a little way to go. We’ll update everyone again at the end of this weeks training.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Jim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi B Team,

I'm doing hardcore pre school study. If you have the time could you elaborate on the trip planning and logging? How was it set up for you to test on? It's kind of where I'm at now in my cramming along with the HOS that's twisting my brain a little bit.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
B Team's Comment
member avatar

Jim F. - Hope the following helps you see what our trip planning training entails. Here is one of our trip planning exercises --- Using your Motor Carriers Atlas, you must determine your route, rest stops, daily shutdown times and locations, and make all scheduled appointments at the scheduled times. All required inspections should be logged, and all HOS rules must be followed. Home Terminal: Montgomery, Al – Tractor #98-01 Trailer # 94-01. Trip # JPT-03-1 NOTE: Each time you load or unload, show ¼ hour on-duty not driving and 2 hours in the sleeper berth. Starting date is first day of the month. Fuel every 1200 miles. When fueling, show ¼ hour on-duty not driving and ¾ hour off duty. Do not log more than 11hours without taking a 10 hour break. After driving 5 ½ hours, take 1 hour off duty, then continue driving. Flag town & state where you take your break. Lines 3 & 4 count against your70 hours. You cannot log more than 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days. You must do a pre-trip inspection when you leave your home terminal and once every day, before beginning driving. You must perform a post-trip inspection when you return to your home terminal. You must also show ¼ on-duty not driving each time you perform required inspections. **TRIP BEGINS** Day 01 – Leave Montgomery, AL at 10pm. Load goes to Huntington, WV. Manifest # 36674620. Day 03 – Unload in Huntington, WV at 1:30pm. Run empty to Lynchburg, VA. Day 04 – Load in Lynchburg, VA at 8am. Load goes to Cleveland, TN. Manifest # 5476980. Unload in Cleveland, TN at 9pm. Day 05 – Load in Cleveland, TN at 8am. Load goes to Montgomery, AL. Manifest #3462810. Unload in Montgomery, AL at 4pm. *END OF TRIP** We were required to do a written pre-trip plan showing our route, miles on each highway, hours to drive those miles, and all rest stops, and 10 hour breaks. Once that was complete, we then completely filled out a drivers log as if we had driven the trip. Hope that this helps you see how it worked.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jim F.'s Comment
member avatar

B Team, That is exactly what I was looking for, Thank you so much, I know your busy.

Jim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Just curious, About how long did that plan take you to do? I'm starting to panic here. I live out west and take one hwy across a state not 10 different ones.embarrassed.gifconfused.gif

Jim F. - Hope the following helps you see what our trip planning training entails. Here is one of our trip planning exercises --- Using your Motor Carriers Atlas, you must determine your route, rest stops, daily shutdown times and locations, and make all scheduled appointments at the scheduled times. All required inspections should be logged, and all HOS rules must be followed. Home Terminal: Montgomery, Al – Tractor #98-01 Trailer # 94-01. Trip # JPT-03-1 NOTE: Each time you load or unload, show ¼ hour on-duty not driving and 2 hours in the sleeper berth. Starting date is first day of the month. Fuel every 1200 miles. When fueling, show ¼ hour on-duty not driving and ¾ hour off duty. Do not log more than 11hours without taking a 10 hour break. After driving 5 ½ hours, take 1 hour off duty, then continue driving. Flag town & state where you take your break. Lines 3 & 4 count against your70 hours. You cannot log more than 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days. You must do a pre-trip inspection when you leave your home terminal and once every day, before beginning driving. You must perform a post-trip inspection when you return to your home terminal. You must also show ¼ on-duty not driving each time you perform required inspections. **TRIP BEGINS** Day 01 – Leave Montgomery, AL at 10pm. Load goes to Huntington, WV. Manifest # 36674620. Day 03 – Unload in Huntington, WV at 1:30pm. Run empty to Lynchburg, VA. Day 04 – Load in Lynchburg, VA at 8am. Load goes to Cleveland, TN. Manifest # 5476980. Unload in Cleveland, TN at 9pm. Day 05 – Load in Cleveland, TN at 8am. Load goes to Montgomery, AL. Manifest #3462810. Unload in Montgomery, AL at 4pm. *END OF TRIP** We were required to do a written pre-trip plan showing our route, miles on each highway, hours to drive those miles, and all rest stops, and 10 hour breaks. Once that was complete, we then completely filled out a drivers log as if we had driven the trip. Hope that this helps you see how it worked.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

B Team's Comment
member avatar

We now have four calendar weeks until we begin our new adventure. We only have fourteen class days left, and we are scheduled to take our driving test after only 8 more class days. We will not be going to class during the week of November 20-24; campus is closed for Thanksgiving. We’ll spend the final days of class after testing (December 1-7) practicing coupling & uncoupling, and talking about customer service issues. It’s coming together real fast now. We have been spending class days alternating between backing practice, driving the test loop, and studying our books getting as we get ready for our final exam. The final will be on November 27th. Our driving test will be on November 30th. We have both improved a lot in the backing department. We also are pretty confident that we’ll be okay on the pre-trip portion of the test. The part that is the most nerve wracking is the actual driving test portion. It will take place on several fairly busy roads, and you never know what the other drivers will do. Hopefully we’ll have a good day, and a successful test drive. We have now applied to six companies as team drivers, we’ve only ruled out two so far. The bonuses for team drivers are fantastic, and most of the benefits are similar at all of the firms. The length of training is also pretty much the same at most of them. The final decision is probably going to end up being a “gut feeling” kind of thing. We will probably update once more before we test out. That update will likely be at the end of next week. Keep us in your prayers. More info as soon as we have more to share.

B Team's Comment
member avatar

Just curious, About how long did that plan take you to do? I'm starting to panic here. I live out west and take one hwy across a state not 10 different ones.embarrassed.gifconfused.gif

Jim F - It probably took about 30-40 minutes to prepare the plan, and about another 45 minutes to actually create the log entries. If you are having trouble figuring out a route using an atlas, you could use Google Maps, or a GPS to get a basic idea of how to get from city to city. However, you MUST compare the route to a Motor Carriers Atlas to be sure that big trucks are allowed to use those roads. In the Rand McNally Atlas, the truck routes are highlighted in orange. In fact, in the example that I gave you, the route between Huntington, WV and Lynchburg, VA only has a couple of options to use, since trucks are not allowed on many of the roads in that area of the state. It's a mountainous area, and some of the roads aren't safe for trucks. After you do the pre-planning a few times it should become easier to do. If you have any more questions, just post them here, and I, or some of the other drivers on the forum, will be glad to try to help you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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